Educate a Girl (EAG), Nigeria, is about giving girls in need the ability to transform their lives, enter the workforce & have a voice in the media. $100 covers the entire vocational education in media studies for one girl in Nigeria, as well as further personal and professional grooming.
We strive to be transparent: we employ a world-class audit firm, document each girl’s education and connect her to her donor. Join us in not only educating 1 girl, but 500 in Nigeria!
More about the award-winning Educate a Girl initiative founded by Pakistani philanthropist Tara Uzra Dawood.In her own words:Through our award-winning Educate a Girl platform, we have funded the education of 865 deserving girls to date in Karachi, Pakistan, as part of our goal of getting 1000 low-income young women in each of 5 continents scholarships for vocational training in media studies, and get them into related jobs to strengthen women’s voice in media and have better and more professional gender representation in this important field.We’ve chosen the field of journalism because we wish to remind our girls that they have a voice, provide a platform for their voices to be heard and to encourage their freedom to say what they wish.EAG has formally partnered with the British Council, Swiss Consulate, British Deputy High Commission, MalalaFund and UNDP.380 girls have been certified to date, 3 girls are news anchors, several having leading columns in newspapers and 6 girls to date have funded scholarships out of their first ever paychecks, underscoring the sustainability of this platform.To learn more about our Foundation’s work, you can read about it in UK Paper The Guardian:
“On the last day of my visit, I give a writing class to a group of 40 young female journalists, part of the Educate a Girl movement run by the Pakistani philanthropist Tara Uzra Dawood. Many of the girls are wearing hijabs and niqabs; they’ve been flown in from all corners of the country, including the wild north-western borderlands.
I’m not sure what I was expecting from these girls but, after some initial hesitation, we begin a conversation that lasts all morning. They have read David Foster Wallace and get the New Yorker online; they have blogs and are making documentaries. One of them describes her niqab as a “Trojan horse – it allows me to see things others don’t see”.
They all feel strongly the responsibility that comes with being the first in their communities to have an education, the first women with a voice. They queue to take selfies with me at the end of the session and soon my Facebook feed is full of thoughtful, sophisticated responses to the provocations of my class.”
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Girls 18-24 years old, from the North, South, East & West Nigeria, who are from underserved, lower and middle class backgrounds, lack access to affordable, quality education. Some girls are often unable to continue or afford their studies due to loss of their homes from bomb blasts, terrorism and communal feuds. Some fathers who have lost their jobs or businesses and/or have limited funds, will likely educate only the sons.
There is also a huge shortage of jobs in Nigeria, especially among Youths. (2015 Unemployment rate as a function of the labour market is 23.9%, according to the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics). There is also a cultural bias, which manifests as a discouragement from hiring women for the few spots in banking, journalism etc. as it is perceived that men have to support a family and are not prone to breaks in their career. Thus, there is an urgent need to increase the representation of women holding influential media jobs in Nigeria.
How will this project solve this problem?
EAG Nigeria: Tara Darwood and her EAG team have been invited by Nigerian poet, Juliet ‘Kego Ume-Onyido, to implement the Educate a Girl Nigeria project, which funds an intensive vocational training in Media Studies, in partnership with British Council and other leading global and local journalists. The program also includes a supplemental training in professionalism and grooming to produce trained journalists across Nigeria who imbibe best practice and cutting edge skills, to enable them compete effectively in the challenging job market.
This programme is fundamentally enabling women to have a vibrant and powerful voice in the media. Juliet is also hoping to engage some young girls who are victims of different forms of abuse and those who escaped from the kidnapping.
In Juliet’s own words: “What better way to triumph over terrorists and perpetrators of injustice against women/girls, who are against education and development, than to actually EDUCATE, ENGAGE & EMPOWER young girls and women in Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern Nigeria in JOURNALISM?
The more we empower the youths to find and use their voice, skills, talents, abilities and gifts, the more we progress as a nation and defeat the flames of terrorism, ignorance, apathy, injustice, violence and tribalism.
The idea is not only to advocate for girls and women who are already affected by rape, violence or are still missing due to kidnapping, but also to focus on and empower the girls who are left behind and here with us, in our various communities.
That is one of the best ways to honour the innocent lives we have lost. I truly believe that when we educate, engage and empower ONE girl to find and use her voice, in any part of the country or world, we are all strengthened collectively.”
Potential Long Term Impact
We are actively engaged in educating, grooming, mentoring and placing these girls in the job market, both in Radio/Television/Print journalism, Public Relations, Social Media Platforms, i.e. as bloggers or content providers for government and non-governmental agencies, multi-nationals, private corporations and small businesses. This project is about helping women get and keep jobs and also creating a sustainable system to be in positions of influence to hire other qualified candidates.
We are reminding girls that they have a voice, we are giving them a platform for that voice to be heard and the freedom to express their dreams, desires and destiny. We are bringing together deserving girls from different backgrounds, ethnicities and religious beliefs in Nigeria and teaching them concepts of unity, collaboration, entrepreneurship and professionalism. We are committed to raising a new generation of transformational and creative African (Nigerian) leaders.
[Image Source: AP Photo/Sunday Alamba]
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